Flooding leaves thousands of animal carcasses in North Carolina

(N.C. Cooperative Extension)
(N.C. Cooperative Extension)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Aerial images released by the Waterkeeper Alliance give new perspective to just how devastating the rising flood waters from Hurricane Matthew have been for North Carolina’s farming communities.

The state’s commission of agriculture described the video as showing more water than he could ever imagine, crops that are flooded out, farms surrounded by water and flood poultry houses, he said.

Agriculture groups say tens of thousands of animals have already died. And that means thousands of animal carcasses that need to be disposed of.

Gov. Pat McCrory said lined landfills will accept the dead bodies, but the state’s preferred method of disposal is composting.

“You can do it right there on the farm, without having to bury a carcass, without having to move that animal,” said Brian Long of the N.C. Department of Agriculture. “You can do that if the conditions on site are suitable you end up with a usable compost material when the process is finished.”

But before the focus turns to clearing corpses, officials say the state is working to help the animals who haven’t died yet.

“We know there are farms, that are surrounded by water and so those farms are cut off from their supply chain, and you can’t move the animals out and it’s difficult to get feed and water and fuel for generators into the farms,” Long said.

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